Cristiano Ronaldo tops Lionel Messi in Europe's top 10 strikers by goalless games

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Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has been teased on social media for going on a 'goal drought' this month.

It seems pretty crazy to accuse one of the greatest footballers of all time of such a thing, but even we have to admit that his recent record from open play is uncharacteristic to say the very least.

Putting aside a pair of penalties against Atletico Madrid and Leganes, we've only seen Messi score once since Spanish football returned and it came during the comeback match against Mallorca.

Messi's Barcelona 'goal drought'

That means the Argentine has gone a staggering 630 minutes without scoring a goal from open play, which is pretty much unheard of for a man with six Ballon d'Or titles in his locker.

Has Messi wracked up six Man of the Match awards and five assists during that time regardless? Ok, guilty as charged, but someone of Messi's calibre will still be disappointed with himself.

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Goalless games: Ronaldo vs Messi?

And it should come as absolutely no surprise that fans of Cristiano Ronaldo were rubbing their hands together at these statistics and it got us wondering about a way of comparing the two.

One of the main criticisms of Messi is that he allegedly scores more of his goals against lower league opposition than Ronaldo.

So, what if we focused more on how many times both players haven't scored as opposed to how many games in which they have? In other words, how often do they draw a blank?

Well, we decided to put that thought to the test by taking the 10 leading contenders in the European Golden Shoe who have played their entire season in one of the continent's top four leagues. 

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(Sorry Ligue 1 players, but the fact your season hasn't restarted would give your finest strikers an unfair advantage.)

Europe's top 10 strikers ranked

We've then ranked them by how many goalless games they've played this season, using minutes played to settle any ties, with the results looking rather positive for Ronaldo fans out there.

10. Mohamed Salah - 26 goalless games

9. Timo Werner - 24 goalless games

8. Lionel Messi - 21 goalless games

7. Romelu Lukaku - 21 goalless games

6. Jamie Vardy - 21 goalless games

5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 19 goalless games

4. Danny Ings - 19 goalless games

3. Cristiano Ronaldo - 14 goalless games

2. Ciro Immobile - 14 goalless games

1. Robert Lewandowski - 8 goalless games

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GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

The world has officially peaked: Ings has drawn a blank fewer times than Messi this season.

And before you absolutely chastise me for even pointing that out, Messi has only played two more games than the Southampton man during 2019/20 with 39 club appearances compared to 37.

Ok, sure, Messi plays deeper and has become more of a playmaker, but the fact Barcelona are one of the world's best clubs and the Saints are a mid-table Premier League side evens it out in my eyes.

But forget that for a second because Ronaldo is miles ahead of his rival with seven fewer games having failed to find the net and he's only played 91 fewer minutes across the campaign.

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So, does this mean that Messi is absolute trash and he's past his sell-by date? Of course not, he's been absolutely glorious this season, but it's unlikely to be enough for a seventh Ballon d'Or.

Besides, losing to Ronaldo in this statistic or not, look at the man in number one and try telling us that anybody is more deserving of the 2020 Ballon d'Or than Lewandowski at this rate.

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